Michael Cox



Ho seeks early gains in Japanese stint

Golden Sixty’s jockey has a couple of good chances to break through for a maiden win at Niigata, as well as an intriguing Group Three ride.

Vincent Ho’s 11 rides on his first weekend in the Japan Racing Association are peppered with some winning hopes but he has a simple objective: have fun.

Ho begins his one-month short-term stint with seven rides at Niigata on Saturday and four at the same track on Sunday, including Carrot Racing’s comeback mare Anuradhapura in the Group 3 Ibis Summer Dash.

“The main thing is to go out there and enjoy it,” Ho said after arriving in Japan on Wednesday and meeting with JRA officials. 

“Whatever rides I have throughout my stay I will just do what I always do and give them the best possible chance.” 

Kiyoshi Hagiwara’s Anuradhapura returns from nearly a year away from the racetrack (right foot fracture) in a straight 1000m sprint. 

Hagiwara, who produced Normcore to win the 2020 Hong Kong Cup, is one of a number of Group One-winning trainers Ho will be hoping to build an association with on his first weekend.


Normcore wins the G1 Hong Kong Cup. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Saturday he has three rides for veteran handler Takayuki Yasuda, who, along with Northern Farm, has sponsored him for his short-term licence. 

Yasuda is best known as the trainer of superstar sprinter Lord Kanaloa and fellow Hong Kong Sprint winner Danon Smash. 

Ho’s best chances to notch wins on his first day appear to be in race nine, an 1800m dirt race aboard Taiki Force for trainer Mitsunori Makiura. 

The 32-year-old is licensed to ride through to August 28 and 29, when he will represent Hong Kong in the World All-Star Jockeys series at Sapporo. 

“I just wanted to enjoy Japanese racing,” Ho said of his expectations. “It’s a dream come true, so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it, and learn all I can along the way.” 


Ho's rides: Saturday, July 30, Niigata

Race 1--
Race 2DagdaTakayuki Yasuda
Race 3--
Race 4--
Race 5--
Race 6Shadow DuccessMasashi Fukayama
Race 7Justin StarTakayuki Yasuda
Race 8--
Race 9Taiki ForceMitsunori Makiura
Race 10Yamanin GalassiaTetsuhide Tsuji
Race 11Pride LandTomokazu Takano
Race 12Kazenotanino AyakaKazuhiro Masuda

Ho's rides: Sunday, July 31, Niigata

Race 1--
Race 2--
Race 3--
Race 4Piedra de LunaHiashi Shimizu
Race 5--
Race 6--
Race 7--
Race 8--
Race 9Lord TranceShogo Yasuda
Race 10Croix de FerTakashi Saito
Race 11AnuradhapuraKiyoshi Hagiwara
Race 12--



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